Irish Nuala O’Donovan is a sculptural ceramist fascinated by geometric irregularities in nature. Each piece is composed of delicate porcelain elements, which she creates over several weeks in response to the organic material and the random events of creation – literally sculpting an exquisite order out of chaos.
I have used the characteristics of irregular/fractal patterns in nature as a system of constraints or guidelines when making decisions about the forms: The patterns are regularly irregular. The patterns and form are self-similar. The pattern records a response to random events during the making process. The result of using the characteristics of fractal geometry in making decisions regarding the form of the sculptural pieces, is that the form is resolved but retains a sense of potential change. The viewer engages with the piece by allowing their own visual experiences to influence their view of the outcome of the form and its future possibilities. I hope that this aspect of my work also evokes the transitory quality of living organisms, combining traces of history, the present and the future, in the patterns that make up their surfaces and forms.
My decision to research patterns and forms from nature stemmed from my interest in the narrative quality of irregularities in patterns. The history behind a scarred or broken surface is what fascinates me. The evidence of a response to random events visible in patterns in nature, is testament to the ability of living organisms to recover, to respond, and to continue growing and changing. It is the imperfections in the patterns caused by a unique experience that are evidence of the life force in living organisms.